NOVEMBER 2017: hope: Engaging Different Cultures and Religions

BEC REFLECTION PAPER FOR NOVEMBER 2017

MAIN THEME: BE DISCIPLES OF HOPE

Sub-theme: hope: Engaging Different Cultures and Religions

OPENING HYMN: CHRISTIANS UNITED IN THE LORD

 

 

 

 

 

Opening prayer: invite a member of the BEC to say the opening prayer

 

DIALOGUE

“From this mystery of unity it follows that all men and women who are saved share, though differently, in the mystery of salvation in Jesus Christ through his Spirit. Christians know this through their faith, while others remain unaware that Jesus Christ the source of their salvation. The mystery of salvation reaches out to them, in a way known to God, through the invisible action of the Spirit of Christ. Concretely, it will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious tradition and by following the dictates of their conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge him as their savior (cf. AG 3, 9, 11). (DP 29)

Questions for sharing

  1. Christians and others who are saved share, “though differently.” In the same mystery of salvation. (what is my experience with others)
  2. The mystery of salvation reaches out to people of other faith through the invisible action of the Holy Spirit. So do I/we think and feel the need to engage different cultures and religions?

 

 

DISCERNMENT  Jonah and the Plant

Jonah went out east of the city and sat down. He made a shelter for himself and sat in the shade, waiting to see what would happen to Nineveh. Then the Lord God made a plant grow up over Jonah to give him some shade, so that he would be more comfortable. Jonah was extremely pleased with the plant. But at dawn the next day, at God’s command, a worm attacked the plant, and it died. After the sun had risen, God sent a hot east wind, and Jonah was about to faint from the heat of the sun beating down on his head. So he wished he were dead. “I am better off dead than alive,” he said.

But God said to him, “what right do you have to be angry about the plant?” Jonah replied, “I have every right to be angry—- angry enough to die!”

The Lord said to him, “This plant grew up in one night and disappeared the next; you didn’t do anything for it and you didn’t make it grow — Yet you feel sorry for it! How much more, than, should I have pity on Nineveh. That great city, after all, has more than 1200,000 innocent children in it, as well as many animals!”(Jonah 4:5-9)

Brief commentary

The book of Jonah is meant to illustrate God’s absolute sovereignty over the whole of creation. It portrays God as a God of mercy and Love, who rather forgive than destroy. The point of the book of Jonah is that this love and mercy of God are not confined to any one nation or people.

 

Reflection

  1. We read the text three times
  2. We take three minutes of silence to listen to the word that the Lord wants to speak to us in our hearts.
  1. How did Jonah perceive the people of Nineveh?
  2. What lesson did the Prophet Jonah learn?
  3. As a person and as a community what are the challenges today in engaging different cultures and religions?

DEED

“The Church, therefore, has this exhortation for her sons and daughters: prudently and lovingly, through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, and in witness of Christian faith and life, acknowledge, preserve, and promote the spiritual and moral goods found among these people, as well as the values in their society and culture” (NA.2)

Perhaps during this month the BEC can suggest some concrete plans to

Reach out to those whom we seldom engage with………..e.g brothers and sisters of different cultures and religions

 

Concluding Prayer: Invite another member of the BEC to say the closing prayer.

Closing Hymn:  LOVE IT WAS THAT MADE

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